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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Feb 19, 2011 11:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

There is a great deal of parity between the six performances at the Capitol Theater during February of 1971. Although the song sequences vary significantly, much of the same material is played each night. I think the first show on 2/18 is rightfully regarded as the best, with its Beautiful Jam. And the following night is brilliant as well, immortalized as Three From the Vault. The shows on the 21st and 23rd are quite good as well, but my personal favorite has always been 2/20/71.

Although it's shorter, and the vibe admittedly a bit more layed back, there is more jamming than on the following nights and the instrumental breaks are more creative. Also, the sound quality on this one is dynamite and mix quite lively! Plus you get the beautiful and emotive rendition of Ripple, one of only five electrified performances of the song (four during 1971).

I find it interesting how a few of the first sets during this run are better than the second. In this case it's a fine Cryptical/Other One suite, one of the very last performed during a first set. This abreviated rendition contains a lovely Dylanesque passage prior to the first verse and later some excellent Bass work from Phil.

Other highlights from this very well played show include some fine Weir lead guitar on Hard to Handle, a lovely Bird Song (only the second ever), a nice Loser with more great play by Bob and some eerie Pig organ fills, and a jangly Wharf Rat.

With the exception of 2/18, there really is not a great deal of jamming during this run. It's likely why I don't score these shows that highly. Still, there are a few brief but compelling segments on this night. One of which is a short but interesting jam towards the end of GDTRFB.

I'm not really a big fan of Pigpen's raps, and he really out does himself during this Lovelight, not once but twice: he get's someone on stage at one point, does his usuall hook-up shtick, then later raps about business. It's actually a dynamite performance of Lovelight, but more for the two real nice jazzy instrumentals it contains.

It's a fine show, there is alot to like about it. But I think I love it most for the very cool jangly tones of the twin guitars...


2/20/71 - Capitol Theater

Casey Jones, Me & My Uncle, Hard To Handle, Bertha, Playin' In The Band, Bird Song, Big Boss Man, Cryptical Envelopement-> Drums-> The Other One-> Wharf Rat, Sugar Magnolia

Truckin', Loser, Next Time You See Me, Greatest Story Ever Told-> Johnny B. Goode, Ripple, Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Not Fade Away-> Turn On Your Love Light

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1971-02-20.sbd.cantor-crouch-diebert-gmb.85912.sbeok.flac16

I'm curious, besides 2/18, which of the shows during this Port Chester run do you like the best and why?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 20, 2011 10:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

These aren't the most exciting shows of '71, for sure... And comparing them with the 1970 Port Chester shows, lo what a falling-off is there...

I had a discussion with ghostofpig here a while ago about why this could be. The feeling was that all the new songs and recording for an album made them tentative. But now I think it was more Mickey's departure that left them shaky, and one reason we don't get more adventures like the 'Beautiful Jam' after the 18th. (Ned Lagin, remember, had come to Port Chester to play with them onstage, but only joined them on the 18th; after that, he said, the band was struggling to adjust so he stayed off.)

Phil Lesh's opinion:
"Spiritually, Mickey's departure left a big hole in the band's aura; his boundless enthusiasm and demonic energy were a large part of our emotional gestalt, and for the first few months after that, we didn't play as well as we could have. We were in essence tiptoeing around the hole he'd left."

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Feb 20, 2011 11:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Youve hit the nail right on the head about Mickey's departure. There is no mistaking the sullen attitude the band has during this run. The mood of the band during the performance on the 24th is nothing less than depressed. However, in a few instances this mood enhances the emotive quality of the performances of a couple songs, most notably Loser and Wharf Rat.

I don't think anyone is calling these "exciting" shows. But they are certainly important from a historical perspective and well worthy of discussion here. And with the exception of 2/24, they are all at the very least solid performances that for the most part provide entertaining listening...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 20, 2011 6:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

I really like the parts I've heard from this one so far. Interesting what you said about "sullen" in reference to this run. I just know 2/18, and I'm listening to this one, but I definitely hear 2/18 as upbeat and exciting. Not jammy adventurous exciting (except for the "Beautiful Jam") but energy-wise, it sounds like it would have just been a really happy show to be at. In fact, it struck me that, if you read accounts of the time, it was such a dark time for the band, and yet the sound itself ... well, there's such a contrast between appearance and reality. (I seriously wondered if they just did a whole lot of coke on 2/18.)

Do you also hear 2/18 as sullen or mellow? Or, since I gather you've listened to the whole run, does it change after Mickey's departure? This night, from what I've heard so far, is definitely more mellow, but I'm not getting "sullen." Of course that may just be me.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Feb 20, 2011 7:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

I think the band was in a much better frame of mind for the 2/18 performance. I don't detect the sullen mood in the music from that show. I believe Mickey's departure after that performance may have been both unpredicted and its duration not immediately clear to other band members.

After listening to these six performances in succession over the past several days, I hear the mood of the band members progressively darkening over the course of the run, with the realization that Mickey was gone and not returning anytime soon sinking in. The energy level and intensity more or less declining steadily over that week. By the 24th things must have been rather depressing for the band, as reflected in the music of that final Capitol Theater show.

Just my opinion but I think the first three shows of the run are all excellent. The following two are certainly not bad, but the final show is not that great.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Feb 20, 2011 5:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Change is the only constant we have in this life!

Hart's departure and Pig's gradual decline gave space for the "re-birthing" and "transformation" of what was to become the Fall and Winter of 1971.

Add Mr. Keith Godchaux to the mix, arguably the greatest Piano player in the history of the Grateful Dead, and walla, the stage is set for many great performances from the Fall of 1971 to the end of 1978, which in my humble opinion, was the most "musical" period of the Grateful Dead.

It's important to admire the sacrifices of the few for the benefit of the many.

And God bless Pig for rising up to perform on many of those great stages across Europe in 1972, his swan song, so-to-speak.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 20, 2011 9:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Now for those kicking it around these parts for a while, you know of my love of the Capitol Theater, in Port Chester, N.Y.
My 1970 love.
I find this run, which was the last at this venue by GD, to be a general snooze-fest. There are a few exceptions, the 'Beautiful Jam' is one that comes to mind.
I'll give the 20th another go, but these are some of my least favorite shows of the year. Lots of new songs, big time personnel changes, short on wildly creative jamming. To borrow a phrase, no bare wires to be found.
Maybe trying to find any money that Lenny left behind, oh I don't know, for gas to get from the hotel to the venue (or the hotel) was taking too much energy from the band.

This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2011-02-20 17:37:21

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Feb 20, 2011 11:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

While I certainly agree with you regarding the jamming during the '71 Capitol run, it's not fair comparing these shows to those from 1970.

With the exception of 2/18 (a top-ten show) and 2/24 (a rather dull performance at best), these are no more or less than solid four-star shows that score out in the mid 90's.

You can't listen only to 6/24/70, and if you compare every performance to that show youre going to be very disapointed most of the time.

The point is that 2/20/71 is an excellent show with a particularly interesting first set and a few great highlights. Enjoy it...

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Feb 20, 2011 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Or maybe they were planning to record a new live album over the next 2 months that included a bunch of those new songs and therefore didn't want to extend them with jams at that point. I have never had an issue with the energy in these shows. I was never a huge fan of the sound quality of many of the available recordings. However 3FTV changed that for the 19th and Charlie Miller just gave us a whopping upgrade of the 18th. Honestly i have the same issue with the '70 shows from Port Chester. It may have been a great place to see the band but the tapes out of the fillmore sound so much better to my ears.

The one thing i do really love about this run are the rare electrified versions of songs like Ripple and Dark Hollow. Both are real treats.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 20, 2011 10:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

I'll take those Fillmore '70 shows too. I tend to focus on 6-24-70, which is one of the better recordings from '70 by K&J Lee. Some of others from '70 @ the Cap. can be a bit rough, but display more fire and risk then this run. I've been bouncing around this morning and I'm still not feeling it. Something seems off, and I guess it was. Sometimes on a particular song it sounds like a different band then a month or two prior.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Feb 22, 2011 7:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Thanks for the recommendation Dennis!!

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Poster: dogsinapile! Date: Feb 20, 2011 9:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

This run has always been very enjoyable as they were some of the best quality early boots I obtained. Even now years later when there is A LOT of other stuff at equally pristine sound quality, I still find these shows compelling.
I agree that the setlists are somewhat repetative and there is not much jamming, but there is something about the focused nature of the playing that just grabs me. I also like the sound the band had at this time, especially after Mickey left and Billy was the sole drummer. You can tell they were really trying.

It is hard to pick a favorite show - easier to pick moments from the run.
Of course, the Beautiful Jam from the 18th goes without saying - one of the most, uh, beautiful pieces of music ever. And to think it was a spontaneous jam?!?
The 19th is fantastic - you can almost feel the extra effort put forth due the loss of one of their brothers. And that Smokestack Lightning just grooves.
Love the Morning Dew from the 23rd.
I really enjoy the NFA > GDTRFB > _________ sequences and the Lovelights have that primal Dead groove. I am with you though, sometimes Pigs rap leaves me wondering.
The second set of the 24th has always stood out to me also. Something about it seems to sum up the entire run in a satisfactory way. Plus it has New Minglewood Blues!!! (personal note: my license tag for the last 20 years or so has been MINGLEWD).

One last thought...
I have always wished that Playin In The Band would have been more developed at this time, because I think the jams would have been amazing with that sound they had - what did you call it, "jangley guitars"? Would love to hear a 12-15 minute version with that sound.

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Poster: groovernut Date: Feb 21, 2011 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Good one. I like the mellow vibe. I LOVE the guitar tone. The recording is stellar.

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Poster: deadhead53 Date: Feb 20, 2011 6:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

I have to agree with you Mr. Hucker,I have always loved 2/20 out of all those shows. For me it is the setlist. I just like the way it flows and I have always been a sucker for Cryptical>The Other One. Love 71, it is my favorite year, with 72 a close second and then 68-69 in a very close third. Besides the Fillmore run in April, these are my favorite run of shows in 71, but the December run through Boston, NYC and through Michigan is very good too! Great question sir

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 23, 2011 7:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Hmmm--been MIA for a few days, but surprised to find the lack of love for these shows that comes thru in some replies. I'd not ever really considered these anything but another series of exceptional performances from a yr, and a month in particular, in which the boys had to adapt on the fly...in my view, they're splendid--I do admit that the if ones sits down with them, and evaluates the sequence, like most any save a few (Fillmore Feb/Mar, 69; Avalon, Oct, 68; etc), one can find some lapses and the like, but overall, I'd long since assumed these were elevated to "classic 71 contributions".

So, mark me down in agreement with ya, CLIFF.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Feb 24, 2011 6:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Well William Tell, with the exception of the first two or three of the stand, these Port Chester shows are really pretty average. With the exception of 2/18, I score these as four star shows.

For someone to dismiss them because they are not among the very best is rather absurd, especially when they obviously didn't bother listening to the particular peformance I reviewed.

But I'm sure you will agree William, that a three star performance from 1971 blows away just about every show from 1990...

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 24, 2011 8:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

O.K. I will listen to 2/20/71 right now so there is no doubt.
I hope it's good, but it probably isn't.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 24, 2011 7:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Just showing up in 71 blows 90 away, IMHO.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 24, 2011 8:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH - Another Treasure From Port Chester

Era abuse! Era abuse!
Did you get lost in the desert for a few days?